Ger­man gro­cer Lidl com­ing to re­gion

The Phoenix - - LOCAL NEWS - By Gary Puleo [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @ on Twit­ter

As any­one who has driven by lately knows, the fa­mil­iar “Burger King cor­ner” where Trooper Road meets Ridge Pike is go­ing through a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion.

Across the road from the West Nor­ri­ton fast food icon that’s dom­i­nated the in­ter­sec­tion for more than 50 years, con­struc­tion is now un­der­way to bring Ger­man gro­cer Lidl to Lower Prov­i­dence, an event that many had thought might never hap­pen after the in­ter­na­tional re­tailer an­nounced plans to cut back on ex­pan­sion plans.

“Lidl re­ceived land de­vel­op­ment ap­proval from the town­ship quite a while ago, and then it was quiet there for a while,” noted Town­ship Man­ager Don De­la­mater. “Re­ports had sur­faced that Lidl was look­ing to pare back on the amount of open­ings in the area they were plan­ning, and there was a lot of spec­u­la­tion that this was one of those sites. But we al­ways re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion from Lidl that this was not one of the sites they were par­ing back, that they were mov­ing for­ward with it. They just needed to get var­i­ous ap­provals from Pen­nDOT and ap­provals from DEP as part of the whole process be­fore any­one would see any con­struc­tion or de­mo­li­tion there. They’ve got­ten all those ap­provals and should be mov­ing for­ward this year with build­ing a new su­per­mar­ket.”

Most re­cently the site was the home of Sunoco gas sta­tion and con­ve­nience store, and for decades be­fore that had been home of Norristown Ford deal­er­ship.

Lidl’s de­vel­op­ment plan had re­ceived rec­om­men­da­tion for ap­proval from the Town­ship Plan­ning Com­mis­sion back in Septem­ber, 2017. It was de­ter­mined that four lots would be con­sol­i­dated into two parcels and the site’s ex­ist­ing build­ings, in­clud­ing the gas sta­tion, would be de­mol­ished. A new build­ing would be con­structed ac­cord­ing to a pro­to­type the re­tailer has de­signed specif­i­cally for the U.S. mar­ket. Lidl had planned to sub­di­vide a par­cel on the western side of the prop­erty.

“We’re very pleased that the work has started and by the end of this year there should be a nice new su­per­mar­ket opened up,” De­la­mater said. “As the gate­way to the town­ship they’re re­ally go­ing to clean up that area and put up a ‘Wel­come to Lower Prov­i­dence sign on the cor­ner.”

Across Ridge Pike, the south­west cor­ner long oc­cu­pied by gas sta­tions over the years will soon house a Dunkin Donuts, De­la­mater said.

“They’re go­ing to do some sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments at that in­ter­sec­tion, with a left turn from Ridge onto Trooper Road, as well as a deeper left turn lane from Trooper Road onto Ridge Pike (Main Street). They need to fa­cil­i­tate the left turn move­ments, be­cause that’s where the prob­lem comes in, where the left turns don’t have ar­rows. So they’re up­grad­ing all those traf­fic sig­nals.”

The sig­nal will co­or­di­nate ac­tion with the traf­fic sig­nal fur­ther up the road at Park Av­enue and Ridge Pike, he added.

“They will link to­gether so they can com­mu­ni­cate and work to­gether to keep traf­fic mov­ing in a more ef­fi­cient man­ner.”

With Ger­man com­peti­tor Aldi well es­tab­lished across town at the Val­ley Forge Mar­ket­place, Lidl’s ar­rival could cre­ate an em­bar­rass­ment of riches for fru­gal-minded shop­pers in the area.

A press re­lease re­ported that Lidl stores have been proven to drive down prices for shop­pers in ar­eas where they open new stores. Ear­lier this year, a study from the Univer­sity of North Carolina found that re­tail­ers in the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity of Lidl stores dropped prices on in­di­vid­ual prod­ucts by as much as 55 per­cent on av­er­age in ar­eas where Lidl op­er­ates.

Lidl op­er­ates about 10,500 stores in 29 coun­tries, of­fer­ing cus­tomers award- win­ning prod­ucts such as pro­duce, meat, bak­ery items and a wide ar­ray of house­hold items at dis­counted prices. Lidl es­tab­lished its U.S. head­quar­ters in Ar­ling­ton County, Va., in June 2015, and cur­rently has more than 50 stores across seven east coast states.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.Lidl.com.

GARY PULEO - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The cor­ner of Ridge Pike and Trooper Road, long dom­i­nated by Burger King, is mak­ing room for dis­counted gro­cery king Lidl across from the fast-food icon.

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